Late last summer, we were able to test out several of Aquaglide’s new inflatable kayaks for 2020. We were particularly intrigued with the Deschutes series featuring streamlined hulls that were lightweight, simple and quick to set up.
This past week, the first of the new products began to arrive. Our previous review was on the Deschutes 110, so our second review will be the Deschutes 130, an open-style, 13-foot inflatable kayak designed for solo paddling. (Please note: some of the information will be repeated from other writeups.)
Getting Started with the Aquaglide Deschutes 130
We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak body, backpack, instructions, repair kit, tracking fin, seat, valve adaptor and a plastic splash guard. The repair kit features generous-sized repair patches, a valve wrench and glue. Initial impression – the kayak is nicely presented and packaged with bubble wrap protecting valves, handles, etc.
The kayak body weighs approximately 22 lbs with the seat adding another 2 lbs. The kayak with seat and fin – all in the backpack – weighs 27.5 lbs, with a folded size of 27 x 16 x 10 inches for the body only. Backpack size is roughly 27 x 22 x 18 inches, which can be cinched down. All boxed up, the dimensions are 31 x 18 x 16 inches with a shipping weight of 36 lbs. We were able to get everything – plus a pump and paddle – into the pack.
(AirKayaks Side note #1: When initially removing the kayak from the carrying case, take a good look at how the kayak is folded.)
The Deschutes 130 comes with an instruction manual, but as mentioned in our Deschutes 110 writeup, the instructions are pretty sketchy for new users. This is compounded by the manual layout in which each section is first written in English, then up-to 17 different languages (including Bulgarian and Estonian), before you get to the next English section. The inflation instructions start on page 16.
Set up is straight-forward and simple – unpack, unfold, inflate.
The instructions say to put the valve in the closed position and to pump up the sides to 3 PSI, but there are no details explaining this in the instructions.
If you are unfamiliar with military-style valves, they are simple to use – with your finger, twist the plunger slightly up to the “closed” position to inflate (air goes in but doesn’t come back out) and “down” to deflate or open (air comes out).
The Deschutes 130 military valves require a special adaptor, which is found in the repair kit. The Aquaglide military adaptor couples to the valve with a Boston valve adaptor; this is a common fitting, slightly conical and about 1/2 inch thick. Friction fit the adaptor